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Results of the meeting of Derzhkomzem Board of May 28, 2009

 

     On May 28, 2009 the State Committee of Ukraine on Land Resources (Derzhkomzem) held meeting of its board. The meeting was headed by the Head of Derzhkomzem Mr Oleg Kulinich.

     Here we offer you a summary of the official report on the meeting.

     1. There is no end of work on development of the system for land management in Ukraine

     There was no need to prove the significance of land management in the system of state land administration, because attendees of the meeting were well aware of it. Bu at the same time the Deputy Head of Derzhkomzem Mr Anton Tretyak had to admit that over the last 18 years, in the course of land reform, the system of land management was in fact eliminated. This resulted in low effectiveness of land use, first of all, on agricultural land.

    Looking at the results of the land reform, Mr Tretyak said that that the main changes happened in the structure of land ownership and in the number of land owners and land users. Out of 7 million citizens living in rural areas 6.2 million got land titles confirming their ownership over a plot of agricultural land. The state still owns 29.6 million ha (49%), citizens and companies hold 30.6 million ha (50.8%); another 117 thousand ha (0.2%) is still owned on the basis of collective ownership, by collective agricultural enterprises (MyLand: upon adoption of the Constitution of 1996 and Land Code of 2001 the collective ownership was repelled from the laws of Ukraine).

     If we take only agricultural land, the change of ownership structure is even deeper. Out of 41.7 million ha of agricultural land available in Ukraine the state owns 11.4 million ha (27.3%), 30.3 million ha (72.6%) is in private ownership and 42.8 thousand ha (0.1%) is in collective ownership.

    Mr Tretyak said that incompleteness of land legislation, absence of scientific support and lack of funding led to the following outcomes: land of state and municipal ownership are not separated in kind, boundaries of settlements are not demarked as well as boundaries of territories of natural reserves, recreational and health-improving use, as well as boundaries of land with special regime (water protection zones etc). Because of lack of funding the measures for preservation and improvement of fertility of soil were not implemented – Mr Treryak said that only 1.5-2.0% of land tax was spent for such measures (and between 2000 and 2008 the proceeds of land tax grew from UAH 1.4 billion to UAH 6.7 billion).

    Mr Tretyak said that the most acute problems facing Ukraine are the following:
- lack of the concept and state program for carrying out of land management;
- incomplete land legislation (in his opinion, there should be 25 new laws and over 500 by-laws, standards, rules and regulations);
- lack of strategic and perspective planning of land use and protection (in the scale of the state, districts and oblasts);
- imperfectness of procedures for re-allocation of land between sectors of the economy and for change of end-use;
- absence of the national program for land use and protection, territorial land management.

    Thus Mr Tretyak pointed out at the main tasks in the field of development of the system for land management in Ukraine till 2015:
- completion of development of the legislative basis of land management;
- reinforcement of the role of the state in the field of land management and its regulation;
- stirring up the state and municipal control over land management;
- development and implementation of measures for scientific, personnel and fincnial support of land management.

    He also pointed out at the main tasks of the land management till 2015:
- completion of demarcation of boundaries of settlements, of areas with specific nature protection legal regime;
- separation in kind of state-owned and municipal land;
- zoning of land of rural areas by categories of land;
- restructuring of territories of existing agricultural producers taking into account their optimal sizes and competitiveness;
- introduction land management for consolidation of land and some other measures.

    The Board took respective decision.

    After Mr Tretyak finished his speech, he was asked several questions, in particular, whether it was appropriate to stress so much the necessity of development of new laws if existing laws were not observed and fully implemented? Whether there was a detailed plan for implementation of general measures outlined by the speaker? Whether lack of funding meant the end of any public administration activity?

    Some figures delivered by the speaker were doubted. In particular, the board was intrigued by the assertion that the state lost UAH 10 billion annually because of mineralization and losses of humus.

    And finally members of the board concluded that there was no end of work on development of the system for land management in Ukraine.

 

    2. Every hryvnya (Ukrainian national currency) spent for land valuation brings UAH 77 in villages and UAH 150 in cities

    Mr Stanislav Gorbatovich, Head of the Department of Land Market of Derzhkomzem, reported on problems and results of monetary land valuation.

    He said that works in the field of land valuation started in 1996. Some oblasts and cities of Ukraine have already completed land valuation (Donetsk Oblast, Zaporizhzhya Oblast, Rivne Oblast, Odesa Oblast, Sumy Oblast, city of Kiev and city of Sevastopol). That resulted in significant growth of proceeds of land tax.

    Mr Gorbatovich produced results of land valuation on the national scale: out of 29835 settlements with the total area of 7.24 million ha monetary land valuation was completed in 24059 settlements on the area of 6.2874 million ha (80.6% of the number and 84.7 % of the area).

    But in some regions of Ukraine the situation is much worse. Because of insufficient funding land valuation is made by 4.5% in Creamea, 7.2% in Chernigiv Oblast, 21.3% in Chernivtsi Oblast, 27.2% in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, 37.7% in Dniepropetrovsk Oblast, 39.9% in Kiev Oblast and 55% in Zakarpattya Oblast.

    Mr Gorbatovich took as an example Odesa Oblast which was heavily financing the carrying out of land valuation in 2008, and that allowed to complete valuation in 47% of settlements and to complete it at Oblast scale. He said that every hryvnya spent for valuation brought 77 hryvnya in rural areas and 150 hryvnya in cities.

    In general, in 2008 there has been completed land valuation in 114 settlements, during the first quarter of 2009 – in 108.

    But it is not enough to complete the valuaton – it is even more important to update it regularly. As soon as it was forgotten, as of today 50% of settlements needed to update their land valuation, he said.

    The absence of land valuation impedes land market functioning, because notaries cannot register deals with land plots if it was not valuated. It also impedes non-market transactions, like inheritance.

    Mr Gorbatovich said that works in the field of land valuation should be completed as soon as possible.

    As regards the valuation of non-agricultural land outside settlements, the situation is even worse. According to Mr Gorbatovich, only 4.63% of such was valuated. He said that local budgets planned some funds for those works, but he doubts attainability of the objectives set.

    The board also heard a report on licensing procedures and control over observation of license conditions. As of May 22, 2009, there are 2855 licensed land surveyors and land appraisers. The head of State Inspection for Control Over Use and Protection of Land, Mr Olexandre Nechiporenko said that he Inspection performed checks of 2146 licensees and concluded that there were numerous cases of violation of license conditions. He also said that quality of work of licensees was low (MyLand: some experts say that 50% of all technical documentation in the field of land management produced with violations of land legislation)

    The Board took a decision on measures for improvement of the quality of documentation produced by licensees and for personal liability of the members of the commission issuing licenses.

 

Translated by MyLand, 2009

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